General Instructions

Table of Contents:

To install scenery
FS2002/FS2004 Panel Compatibility
(and FSX) To have you aircraft listed properly in the Select Aircraft menu
To have ATC call your plane using the correct airline
To have ATC call your plane using the correct manufacturer and model
If you are using WinNT/2000/XP and can't load some propliners
FS98 or FS2000 To install planes
General If your downloaded plane doesn't appear in the Select Aircraft menu
  If you have trouble downloading planes
If you would like any of MY Source files or repaint my planes

How to install Scenery in FS2004 and FSX:

Note that my recent scenery packages use an automated installer and thus do not follow these instructions exactly.  Where I say FS2004 below, you can substitute FSX if that's your sim.

1. Unzip the scenery file into a temp directory.

2. Create a new folder for your scenery if needed; we'll use some CA59 scenery as an example, so we'll call it CA59. The location of this folder is not critical, but we put these addonf folders inside the FS2004/ADDON SCENERY folder. Mine, for example would look like C:\FS\FS2004\ADDON SCENERY\CA59

3. Next, if needed create two folders inside your new CA59 folder, named SCENERY and TEXTURE. Thus, now I would have C:\FS\FS2004\ADDON SCENERY\CA59\SCENERY and C:\FS\FS2004\ADDON SCENERY\CA59\TEXTURE.

4. OK, now we're ready to start copying files. Copy all the files that end in .BGL into your new CA59\SCENERY folder. Can't see any filenames ending in BGL? You need to go into My Computer and then into View/Options/View tab, and uncheck the box "Hide MS-DOS File Extensions...". Now try it.

5. Are there any files ending in .txt or, etc.? These are text files (usually giving you instructions), and I place these into the main CA59 folder (easy to find that way).

6. Now you should be left with a bunch of files ending in things like BMP, .R8, .pat, and a bunch of other endings. These should all be copied into your CA59\TEXTURE folder.

7. Fire up FS2004 and select Settings/Scenery Library from the main introduction screen - if flying press Esc and choose End Flight to get to it.

8. Click on Files..., and then click on the Add Area button.

9. Browse to your new CA59 folder. 

10. Now click OK. System 7/8 users: You now need to click the empty white space in the dialog box. You should now be looking at a list of things, with your CA59 listed at the top. These are called "Scenery Layers", "Scenery Levels", or Scenery Areas". The ones at the top of the list are considered by FS2004 to be VERY important, and makes sure that these upper layers have priority over the lower layers.  Thus, they will appear "on top" of anything in the lower layers.  Since you want your CA59 scenery to overwrite anything in the FS2004 default scenery (which is in those lower layers), we put the CA59 scenery as the top layer (think of it as "top dog"). When you hear about "Scenery layering", that means moving the various scenery layers up and down until you get the desired effect.  You use the Move Up and Move Down buttons for that (after clicking on a scenery layer first).

How to arrange scenery layers in FS2004.

The next two paragraphs are just an explanation of how layers work - you can skip them if you wish.

For example, I have 3 different sceneries for Fresno Air Terminal. First, the default FS2002 scenery contains just the runways and taxiways - boring. I made scenery for Fresno as it appears today, and put it in the layer Central California. However, I also made scenery for Fresno as it was in 1959, and put that in the layer California 1959. Each of these sceneries are in their own folders (CA59 and CenCA), each with their own SCENERY and TEXTURE folders inside.

I have the layers (top to bottom) as CA59 (1), CenCA (2), and FS2002 Default (a lower layer). What do I see? Only Fresno in 1959, since CA59 is at the top of the stack. (This also involves something called an "exclude file", but isn't important here - it helps to eliminate having duplicate runways, etc.) However, if I uncheck the Active box (choose the Edit option first in FS98 and before), now the highest active layer is CenCA, and I now see Fresno as it is today. If I uncheck the CenCA layer's Active box, I now see the FS2002 default scenery, since it's now the highest active layer that covers the Fresno area. OK?

11. Now you can click OK until you're back in FS2004, and your CA59 scenery should be there in all it's glory. If you don't like it, you can either deactivate it temporarily in the Scenery Library by unchecking the Active box, or click Delete Area to eliminate the layer permanently (be sure to click on the CA59 layer to select it first!!). If you Delete the layer, you can then (AFTER deleting the layer!!) delete the CA59 folder. Don't do this until AFTER you have deleted the layer in the Scenery Library and quit FS!!!!!

That's all there is to installing scenery, but please read and follow the instructions in the text file to avoid any additional problems, since certain sceneries require you to download additional textures and modules. It might be best to install a smaller scenery package first (for a single airport, for example), which might have fewer potential problems than a package for a whole state!! Also, if you use FS2004 make sure that the scenery says it's for FS2004 (and the same for FSX), since you may have problems with earlier or later sceneries.


FS2002 Panel compatibility:

The DC-6/7/Twin panels version 5 crash FS2002; you'll need to use the version 6 panels.

FS2004 Panel compatibility:

The DC-6/7/Twin panels version 6 sometimes crash FS2004 on certain computers. If so, try loading the default Cessna (and panel) first, then load the problem panel. Don't do it fast - wait a while with the propliner rotating at the Select Aircraft screen before pressing OK. If this still doesn't work, download the Fix's on the Panels page for that panel. If they still crash after fixing, then you'll need to use the KMCC panels that work fine in FS2004 and FSX.

FSX Panel compatibility:

The KMCC panels (DC-6, DC-7, CV-240, CV-340) are compatible with FSX. Follow the instructions in the FSX Conversion folder for details. You should also follow the instructions on the Propliner Tutorial page for correcting the zoom and view out the windows. The engine start gauges will not work - use Ctrl-E to start the engines.

To have your aircraft listed properly in the Select Aircraft menu:

If you have the FS2002 Professional Edition:

If you have FS2004, FSX, or the FS2002 Standard Edition:

To have ATC call your plane using the correct airline:

Download this airlines.cfg file and replace your existing airlines.cfg file in the FS2002 AIRCRAFT folder.  You can then go into the Select Aircraft menu, click the Change ATC button, and select your airline from the list (only those listed will be heard in FS).  You can also choose your flight number here. For FS2004 download and install EditVoicePack, and use the menu item to update the airlines.cfg file.

To have ATC call your plane using the correct manufacturer and model:

For users of the FS2002 Professional Edition:

For users of FS2004, FSX, or the FS2002 Standard Edition:

To reload your plane so the changes will take effect, go to the Select Aircraft menu, and select your plane (if not already selected), and then click OK.

Propliner Tips:  Here are some ATC entries for typical propliners, to help you find them on the lists:
Aircraft ATC Type Model
Boeing 247 BOEING B247
Boeing 377 Stratocruiser BOEING B377
Convair 240/340/440/580 CONVAIR None
Lockheed Constellation/Super Constellation LOCKHEED CONI
Lockheed Electra (L-188 or L10) LOCKHEED L188
Martin 404 None M404
Vickers Visount None VISC
Fokker F-27 None F27

Where the entry says None, just type that into the text box (FS2002 Professional Edition), or type that after the equals sign (FS2004, FSX, FS2002 Standard Edition).

If you are using WinNT/2000/XP and can't load some propliners:

You may have to use a file called (from to be able to use certain aircraft.  This should fix the "3rd party" error when loading the plane.

FS98 or FS2000: To install FS5.1/FSFS or converted FS95 planes in FS98/FS2000:

1. Unzip the ZIP file with PKUNZIP, WinZip, or other program into a separate folder, (i.e. PLANES).  Do NOT place the FS5.1 planes into your FS98/FS2000 directories.  Put them into a separate directory and then convert them.
2. All of the planes must be converted using the FS98 CONVERTER at (fsconv98.exe).  Download it into a temp directory and run the EXE file.   FS2000 comes with it's own Converter, available from the Start Menu.
3. Run the Converter by choosing Start/Programs/Microsoft Games/Flight Simulator 98/Flight Shop Converter 98 on the Start Menu (FS2000 is similar).
4. Press the Options button.  Where indicated, browse to your FS98/FS2000 folder.  Below that, browse to your new folder (i.e. PLANES).  Be sure the Copy Textures box is checked.  If you are going to convert adventures, create a new separate folder (i.e. ADVENTURES) and browse to that folder in the bottom portion of the Options dialog box.  Press OK.
4. Press the Aircraft Files button.  You should see your PLANES folder's contents (if not, browse to it using the drop down box at the top).  Select the .AIR files that you want converted to FS98/FS2000.  Press Open.
5. A box will open, and it will say Conversion Finished when done.  Press the Close button.  Repeat for other planes if needed.
6. Start FS98/FS2000, choose your new plane from the Aircraft/Select Aircraft menu, and go flying!

To install FS98/FS2000-ready planes: (FS98 planes can be used directly in FS2000)

1. Unzip the ZIP file with PKUNZIP, WinZip, Norton Desktop, or other program into a separate folder, (i.e. PLANES).  Make sure you have the option set to unzip into embedded folders.
2. Look in the PLANES directory; there should be a folder with the plane's name, and within that there should be several other folders, including MODEL, SOUND, TEXTURE and PANEL.  If so, move the plane 's folder (and it's contents) into your FS98\AIRCRAFT or FS2000\AIRCRAFT folder.  Done!

3. If all of the plane's files in the PLANES folder are not in folders, then create a folder with the same name as the .AIR file, and within it create the folders MODEL, PANEL, SOUND, and TEXTURE.
4. Place the panel.cfg file into the PANEL folder, the sound.cfg file into the SOUND folder, the xxx.mdl and model.cfg files into the MODEL folder, and the *.?af files into the TEXTURE folder.
5. Place the .AIR file and the aircraft.cfg file into the main plane folder.
6. Move the plane folder (and it's contents) to the FS98\AIRCRAFT or FS2000\AIRCRAFT folder.  Done!

The static airliners and SMF scenery work fine with FS98/FS2000, but FS5 or FS95 panels are NOT compatible.  Default FS5.1 or FS95 planes will not work in FS98 or FS2000; FS98 default planes will not work in FS2000.


If your downloaded plane doesn't appear in the Select Aircraft menu

If you are trying to install FS98 aircraft into FS98 (or FS98 or FS2000 aircraft into FS2000) and they don't show up in the Select Aircraft menu, there could be several reasons (the "FS" folder mentioned below is your main Flight Simulator folder, whatever it may be called):

1.  For FS98, you must download and install the FS98 Converter at (fsconv98.exe).

2. You have deleted one or more of the Default aircraft, like the Cessna, Lear, etc. Never do this. You'll have to reinstall the program to get them back (uninstall first via the Control Panel). Most of your addons will be saved, but back up your flightsim98.cfg, fs2000.cfg, scenery.vis, and/or scenery.cfg files (different files for different versions). Copy them back later after the reinstall. If you do not wish to reinstall, edit the downloaded aircraft's panel.cfg and/or sound.cfg files to point them to different folders (see #2).

3. The aircraft you have downloaded does not have proper panel.cfg and/or sound.cfg files. Open the panel.cfg file in Notepad (Start/Programs/Accessories/Notepad, File/Open, All Files, then browse to the panel.cfg file, which is in the aircraft's PANEL folder). There will probably be a line that starts alias=, unless the plane came with it's own panel. What comes after the equals sign is a folder name (or path to a folder). This is telling FS  to "go look in this folder for the panel to load for this aircraft". Make sure that the folder specified on this line is present on your hard disk, in your FS AIRCRAFT folder.

For example, if the line is "alias=FSFSConv\panel.Recip.rg.4" (the location of the default panel for 4-engined piston retracting gear aircraft), this means that FS will look for this aircraft's panel in the folder FS\AIRCRAFT\FSFSConv\panel.Recip.rg.4. Thus, you should have a folder named panel.Recip.rg.4 present inside the FSFSConv folder which should be inside your AIRCRAFT folder, inside your main FS folder. Inside the panel.Recip.rg.4 folder should be at least a panel.cfg file, and probably some .BMP files (panel bitmaps).

If the alias= line is pointing to a folder that doesn't exist on your setup, then you need to edit this line so that the folder mentioned is a valid panel folder for this type of aircraft.  OR, just copy a panel.cfg file from a similar plane that shows up OK over the top of the bad file.

The sound.cfg file (in the aircraft's SOUND folder) works exactly the same way, pointing to the sounds for that aircraft.

4. The dowloaded aircraft is missing a critical file. I have included some ways to fix this, but it is best just to find a better plane:

A. Missing AIR file (in the main aircraft folder) - copy another plane's AIR file into the plane's folder and rename it to the same name as the MDL file in the MODEL folder, with the AIR extension instead). This should ideally be the same type of aircraft, or at least something very similar (should be the same type and number of engines at least!).

B. Missing aircraft.cfg file (in the aircraft's main folder) - copy another aircraft.cfg file into the aircraft's folder, and edit it in Notepad to change the title= line to match the type of plane you downloaded and the sim= line to the base name of the AIR file (in the aircraft's folder). I.e. if the AIR filename is dc6bual.air, the line should read sim=dc6bual

C. Missing MDL file (in the MODEL folder) - nothing you can do.

D. Missing panel.cfg file or sound.cfg file (in the PANEL or SOUND folders) - copy a panel.cfg or sound.cfg file from a different downloaded plane into the folder(s). Then follow #2 to edit them.

E. Missing texture files (the plane is white)(in the TEXTURE folder) - nothing you can do.

If you want any of MY Source files:

If you would like the GMAX files of any of my planes (blue dots), just send me an email.  For older versions, head on over to the FREEFlight Design Shop web site, which features many of the AFX's and GMAX files available on the web.  You may also do MDL texture repaints, but put the plane (or textures) into a folder with a different name, and change the plane's description in the aircraft.cfg file.  If you repaint my planes, all I ask is that you give me (and all other authors) credit in the text file and you send me the repainted plane for my page (if a California airliner).  Thanks!

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